Scenic Delights of New Zealand with Insight Vacations
Explore the magical Waitomo Glowworm Grotto, experience and learn Maori Culture and discover Milford Sound by Sea Kayak
Explore the magical Waitomo Glowworm Grotto, experience and learn Maori Culture and discover Milford Sound by Sea Kayak
Delve into the scenic delights of New Zealand with a small group of explorers. Combine natural beauty with creature comforts as you overnight in the rainforests of Franz Josef at the foothills of Mt. Cook, sleep among the treetops in the Coromandel Ranges and journey into the deep south to the wild and pristine landscapes of Stewart Island.
Insight Luxury Gold
The Long White Cloud | 24 days from Christchurch to Auckland
- Christchurch: Travel in the iconic TranzAlpine Train, Farm tour at Morelea and home cooked barbecue lunch
- Rotorua: Visit Kiwi Nursery and hatchery, unique dining experience with Tamaki Family
- Auckland: Farewell dinner with wine
- Bay of Islands
- Steward Island
- Milford Sound: Sea Kayaking
DAY 1 YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS
You will fly over the international date line on your way to New Zealand.
DAY 3 WELCOME TO WELLINGTON!
On arrival at Wellington Airport you'll be met by private car and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers for a welcome drink and dinner at your hotel.
Hotel: The George, Christchurch Meals: Welcome Reception and Dinner
DAY 4 CHRISTCHURCH TO PUNAKAIKI
First up it's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in the comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You'll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!
Hotel: Punakaiki Resort Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 5 - RELAXED START THE MIGHTY FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
(Relaxed Start) Visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, and meet a local greenstone (jade) carver for a jewellery demonstration. Then visit the West Coast's Treetop Walkway, where you may take a stroll through the canopy of this lush rainforest. Now you're off to the gold-mining town of Ross before arriving at Franz Josef, where a glacier guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage?
Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 6 ROMANTIC ARROWTOWN AND ON TO QUEENSTOWN
Later today, travel over the Haast Pass and along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, stopping at Makarora at lunchtime. You'll also stop to explore the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, followed by an orientation tour of Queenstown.
Hotel: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 7 - RELAXED START TAKE TO THE SKIES IN QUEENSTOWN
(Relaxed Start) Today is free for you to explore New Zealand's adventure-capital at your leisure. Perhaps play a round of golf or indulge in spa treatment at your resort? Tonight ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob's Peak for dinner with a view overlooking stunning Queenstown, the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.
Hotel: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Highlight Dinner
DAY 8 - RELAXED START QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
(Relaxed Start) Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take a trip to the Gibbston Valley Winery, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River? Tonight you can dine at one of the many local restaurants and cafés in town, or simply relax at your resort.
Hotel: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 9 - RELAXED START QUEENSTOWN TO MILFORD SOUND
(Relaxed Start) Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Later you’ll travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the amazing Mirror Lake. Afterwards, walk to see the Chasm on your way into Milford Sound and take some time to kayak this majestic fiord, considered by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Tonight stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.
Hotel: Milford Sound Lodge Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 10 - RELAXED START MILFORD SOUND TO STEWART ISLAND
(Relaxed Start) Venture to the southern-most city in New Zealand, Invercargill. You’ll board a ferry at Bluff to cruise to Stewart Island, the 3rd largest island in New Zealand, for a wondrous experience. With its clear, clean waters, lush rainforest, sweeping sands, flora and fauna and unspoilt natural beauty, you’ll get a glimpse into an enviable simpler, slower lifestyle.
Hotel: Bay Motel, Stewart Island Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 11 STEWART ISLAND WILDLIFE
Sightseeing this morning takes you to see the villages and bays. Later, cruise on Paterson Inlet to see remote sandy beaches and beautiful wildlife. Stop at Ulva Island and take a tour with a Local Expert from the Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn about native birds like the Weka and spend time up close to native flora and fauna – a day of exploration and education. Tonight, try your hand at a bit of kiwi-spotting in the native bush near your accommodation.
Hotel: Bay Motel, Stewart Island Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 12 STEWART ISLAND TO MOUNT COOK
This morning you'll board a ferry and journey across Foveaux Strait, making your way back to the New Zealand mainland. Admire the rural farming views of Southland and the spectacular alpine scenery of the Southern Alps. Venture over the Lindis Pass and along the shores of Lake Pukaki into the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, helped Sir Edmund Hillary hone his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest. In the evening, enjoy dinner with a breathtaking mountain view.
Hotel: The Hermitage, Mt. Cook Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 13 MT. COOK TO CHRISTCHURCH
See Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you'll stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. You're welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a barbecue lunch in their 240 hectare garden. Then travel along the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour see how Christchurch is being rebuilt after the earthquake of 2011.
Hotel: The George, Christchurch Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 14 CHRISTCHURCH TO WELLINGTON
Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales. There's time, if you wish, to take a whale-watching flight. See New Zealand's fur seals at Ohau Point, then travel to the seaside town of Picton. Cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington for a city sightseeing tour.
Hotel: Sofitel Hotel, Wellington Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 15 - RELAXED START WELLINGTON AT LEISURE
(Relaxed Start) Today is free for you to explore Wellington. Perhaps join a tour of New Zealand's Parliament buildings and the ‘Beehive' or take a ride on Wellington's famous cable car from the central business district to the Kelburn Lookout for stunning views of the city? You may want to experience Weta Cave – home of the creative wizards behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Or you could learn about New Zealand's history and culture with a visit to Te Papa, New Zealand's incredible national museum and art gallery. Your Travelling Concierge will assist you in booking your chosen experience.
Hotel: Sofitel Hotel, Wellington Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 16 - RELAXED START STUNNING SCENERY WELLINGTON TO TAUPO
(Relaxed Start) Travel along the rugged Kapiti Coast, past the dairy farms of the Manawatu through to the striking three active volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo awaits you. Before arriving at the hotel, you will stop in to view Huka Falls.
Hotel: Hilton Hotel, Taupo Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 17 - RELAXED START GEOTHERMAL ROTORUA
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, explore the township of Taupo, or perhaps try your hand at trout fishing? In Rotorua, experience the local customs like the Hongi greeting and learn some customary phrases. Gain an insight into local Maori culture and history with a Maori show. Savour the unique flavours of a traditional Hangi dinner, a meal cooked in the ground using geothermal steam.
Hotel: Regent of Rotorua Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Highlight Dinner
DAY 18 ROTORUA SIGHTSEEING
At the Agrodome, sample Kiwi farm life including the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, lamb bottle feeding and an exciting sheep auction. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you'll discover the native beauty around the crystal clear mineral water springs. Take a ‘behind the scenes' tour through a working kiwi nursery and hatchery dedicated to the conservation of the national icon. Next, visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village set amongst a highly active landscape erupting with geothermal activity.
Hotel: Regent of Rotorua Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 19 WAITOMO CAVES TO COROMANDEL
First up, visit Waitomo Caves to see the incredible glowworms that are unique to New Zealand with our Local Expert at Footwhistle Cave. Visit the dairy farming community of Matamata and enjoy a delicious lunch at Longlands Farm country-style restaurant. This evening in the Coromandel Ranges, stay in Tree Hut Chalets, set among the native bush.
Hotel: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, Coromandel Ranges Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 20 - RELAXED START COROMANDEL TO AUCKLAND
(Relaxed Start) If you are an early riser, why not take a stroll down to the golden sands of Pauanui Beach and dip your toes in the swirling surf? Later in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour and then the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the city. Why not visit the Sky Tower for 360° views of the region and surrounding volcanic hills?
Hotel: Sofitel, Auckland Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 21 AUCKLAND TO BAY OF ISLANDS
Travel to Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Then continue to the Waipoua Forest, a sanctuary that is home to many native trees including the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta (over 2,000 years old). A Maori guide will walk you through the native bush and explain the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. Head to your waterfront resort in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands.
Hotel: Copthorne Resort, Bay of Islands Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee
DAY 22 - RELAXED START RUSSELL AND THE BAY OF ISLANDS
(Relaxed Start) In the morning you'll take a ferry across the harbour to historic Russell, for a walking tour of the first European settlement and capital of New Zealand. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps take on a dolphin watching cruise? Experience sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting around Kerikeri, or join a jet boat Heritage Cruise and learn a little more about the settling of the Bay of Islands?
Hotel: Copthorne Resort, Bay of Islands Meals: Buffet Breakfast
DAY 23 CRUISE THE BAY OF ISLANDS AND ONTO AUCKLAND
This morning cruise through the Bay of Islands Maritime Park to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock', see the historic Cape Brett lighthouse, and explore some of the 144 islands in the bay. Later you'll have some time in Paihia to check out the local craft shops or go for a walk along the beachfront. This afternoon head through the small towns of Northland, over the Harbour Bridge and into Auckland city. Toast your tour together tonight at a Celebration Dinner.
Hotel: Sofitel, Auckland Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Celebration Dinner
DAY 24 FAREWELL AUCKLAND
Bid farewell to your fellow travellers after breakfast, as your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast
INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES
~ Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
~ Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
~ A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
~ At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
~ Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
~ Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
~ With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
~ Airport transfers to and from your hotel are included.
519 848 2566 or 519 831 7928
Book by: December 31st 2017
Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit per person per vacation is required to reserve space for you. Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to/from the start/end of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; GST/HST/PST or other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship s&amp; crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as included&amp;amp;amp;a;in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Insurance premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.